Hallmark's Lacey Chabert, Alison Sweeney and Autumn Reeser on Their Bond, 'The Wedding Veil ' Trilogy

The Hallmark stars open up about their joy in sharing the screen (and three movies) together and their late-night bonding on location

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From left: Alison Sweeney, Lacey Chabert, Autumn Reeser. Photo: Sven Boecker/Crown Media United States LLC

They've starred in well over 50 Hallmark movies combined, but Lacey Chabert, Alison Sweeney and Autumn Reeser have never been in one together — until now.

With The Wedding Veil trilogy, Chabert, 39, Sweeney, 45, and Reeser, 41, all lead one film and play supporting roles in the other two — an idea that came from Chabert, her producing partner Beth Grossbard and writers Sandra and Judith Berg.

The actresses open up to PEOPLE in this week's issue about the joy of costarring and bonding with fellow Hallmark leading ladies, getting lost together on location and their new friendship.

How long have you known each other?

Lacey Chabert: We've known each other through the business for many years, but now that we've had the chance to actually spend real time together, we're much closer.

Autumn Reeser: We all stayed in the same hotel [while filming]. Ali and I stayed across the hall from each other, and she literally came over to my room to borrow a cup of sugar. I was like, "This is so unique. We never get the opportunity to work with each other like this. We all work for the same network, but we never get to do movies together." It was a real treat.

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Lacey Chabert on set. Allister Foster/Crown Media United States LLC

What was the production and filming schedule like?

Chabert: All of our Hallmark movies are 15 days [of filming] each for the most part. We filmed them all individually. But it's been the most fun to spend time with each other. When Autumn was doing her movie, Ali and I were in Bulgaria together, and so we had a lot of time off. We were only there for a portion of it, but we were able to spend a lot of time together.

Alison Sweeney: Thank goodness Lacey was my traveling companion because honestly, I would probably still be in Munich right now, if not for Lacey Chabert. I was like, "I'm pretty sure that sign means we need to go that way." I didn't know what day it was.

Reeser: My highlight [in Bulgaria] was drinking wine in Lacey's hotel room.

Sweeney: That was the most fun. It was so pretty. And it was such a great female bonding time. You don't realize until you're away from all the normal comforts, you can really connect with each other, and we had so much fun.

Do you keep anything from your movies or filming locations?

Chabert: I always try to keep at least one piece of clothing that's special to me. I have a whole section in my closet of special dresses from some of these movies, and I'm saving them for my daughter one day.

Sweeney: I find a way to shop everywhere I go. It just happened to work out that these characters are also antiquing, so we find real antique shops and we rent them out for the day to film, but meanwhile, in between takes, I'm shopping in them and looking around. I've collected little things here and there from different locations and I have them in the house, and they remind me of all the different places I've been in films and different characters.

Reeser: Oh, my answer is going to be so boring. I'm a minimalist. I didn't buy anything, I take only the memories.

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Autumn Reeser, Lacey Chabert and Alison Sweeney on set. Allister Foster/Crown Media United States LLC

Did you learn anything from being together or watching each other work?

Reeser: I learned a lot from Ali about standing in my power. I had just gotten through producing my first movie, and Ali was producing her own movie while we were filming this. I realized how much more room there is for me to stand in my power, and for me to stand in my experience and to speak up and not be afraid of using my voice. She was one of my great lessons from this year.

Sweeney: Thank you, Autumn, that is so sweet. I would definitely say that I watched Lacey. She has this way about her of making every person on the crew and every person she comes across feel special. It's so sincere and she does it with gentleness and kindness.

For more on Chabert, Sweeney, Reeser and The Wedding Veil trilogy, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday or subscribe here.

Chabert: You both care so passionately about the work. I was impressed with how invested you were. You could have come on and done your few scenes and went back home, and you didn't. You approached even those few moments with such passion to make them as best as they could be and I appreciated that so much. And just as people, you both are strong women who I feel very lucky to know.

Sweeney: With Autumn, there's a truth in that you don't back down, like, "I am who I am. This is my story. This is my scene," and you don't force it on other people. You live in who you are in a very real way that is just so grounded. When I'm with you, I feel so centered in a way, and I can be a little all over the place.

The Wedding Veil premiered in January and re-airs on the Hallmark Channel Feb. 5; The Wedding Veil Unveiled debuts Feb. 12 and The Wedding Veil Legacy arrives Feb. 19.

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